Sector O is an office development, in the most central area of Bucharest, in the immediate vicinity of Calea Victoriei, the main historic north-south axis where all the historical layers of the built environment overlap in a heterogeneous mix of valuable architecture, and which is recently recovering its commercial life, and expanding its flaneur characteristic.
The site is adjacent to Palatul Telefoanelor, a representative art deco building built between 1929 and 1934, which with its presence marks the entrance to Strada Matei Millo were two buildings Tandem and Matei Millo are facing each other creating new public spaces for the city.
Contrary to the local trend of building office parks in the outskirts of the city, this project takes the risk of setting ground in the city centre, playing with the difficulties of local regulations and restrictions, and the car driven location bias.
The new office program developed by Forte Partners with the architects from ADNBA brings a different use to the area and a particular focus on the development of the public spaces, extending and diversifying the existing network, and opening the new buildings to their urban environment at ground level.
The public spaces were designed to support the activation of the area, offering an alternative type of atmosphere, relatively quieter compared to the adjacent commercial Calea Victoriei. They offer abundant green areas, free spaces for random activities at a slower pace, and a new alternative connection to Campineanu street, giving a renewed energy to the area.
The design of the plaza grows from the logic of the movement paths to and through the area, and the language is a reflection of the sober expression of the buildings.
Tandem building retracts from the street front, offering to the city a new open space, answering the pressure to find new public infrastructure in central Bucharest.
The open space on the ground level is defined by a series of rich, and densely planted green areas which are elevated from the ground to create sitting places along the paths. Most of the green areas are built on top of the underground slab, adding an extra challenge to the project, especially for the matured trees we planted. The selection of perennials helps in creating a seasonal effect, having different colours and volumes through the year, which lately has become a local attraction especially for those looking for a photogenic scenario for a photoshoot.
At the upper levels, a large series of panoramic terraces on different floors of the building have been proposed, facing the main public space. We designed a set of custom-made modular planters with different heights, were we added more or less technical soil depending on the species planted in each module. This way we reduced the weight of the planters on the slab, by increasing soil layer only were woody shrubs and trees are planted, while perennials, and grasses can live in shallower planters. This modularity helps us creating meeting points with seating areas, increasing the privacy and creating differentiated smaller sitting areas on the terraces.
The main plaza faces directly Millo building, and the network of green spaces takes shape with an alley connecting Millo and Campinenau street. The alley, which is slightly sloped is bordered by a long green planter, creating a nice shaded new passage linking places which before were completely separated. The alley closes off in a smaller public open space defined by similar planters as in Tandem, but in a more shaded area opened to the street and to the building foyer. The new connection turned into an increasingly used connection between the different places in the city centre. In a future stage the narrow connection is projected to be completed by a succession of terraced platforms which will allow for different forms of public use.
In sector 0 we work from initial concept to execution, which gave us the opportunity to control all the steps in the process, until the planting was finalised, staying further involved in the maintenance of the vegetation. This way we have been able to oversee the development of trees, perennials, and grasses, and to test the different species behaviour in sometimes harsh urban conditions.
Furthermore, in view of the tremendous investment in real estate in Bucharest in recent years, there are few projects of this amplitude that have an urban and social conscience and sacrifice part of the future square metres, or the economics of the project, in exchange for having a positive impact at the urban level, both in the functional and environmental component. Therefore, Sector 0 stands as one of a kind urban intervention, were city and place making can work at higher standards.
Client: Forte partners
Christian Beros, Architect, Urban designer
Esenghiul Abdul, Architect, Urban designer
Cristiano del Toro, Landscape Architect
Nicolae Petrencu, Architect
Architecture offices involved in the design:
ADNBA – www.adnba.ro
Strada Matei Millo 5, București 010144